Photo Recap: Whistler's Original Bike Shop Take Their Annual Staff Trip Off Grid

Feb 24, 2023
by Juan Francisco Garza Elenes  

The Whistler Bike Company is one of the original independent bike shops in the famous Canadian resort. The shop opened in the spring of 1994 when Peter Colapinto and John Inglis decided to try their hands in the nascent bike business. Back in the day, the market for mountain bikes was small, but local riders were already exploring the Whistler Valley on two-wheeled machines. After a few summers of success, the Bike Co. expanded and opened a second store in Pemberton, where the warmer climate allows for up to 11 months of riding in a good year.

If you've been to our Pemberton location, you probably know what we are all about.

Over the years the Bike Co. has remained the original independent Bike Shop in Whistler and Pemberton. The towns have changed, but the shop stays true to its core values; providing excellent customer service to both locals and tourists with repairs and quality products. The Bike Co. has seen lots of different faces in the intervening years, with former employees spread all over the world. The shop has always been run by interesting characters who share their passion for bicycles and the mountains. After a hectic summer of fixing broken bikes and attending to the needs of riders shredding some of the best trails in the world, staff members get to enjoy the tradition of the hallowed annual staff ride: a multi-day bicycle adventure around the South Chilcotin mountains. This year was no different.

We loaded the trucks on a sunny morning in Pemberton and drove north toward Bralorne. After a bucolic stretch of road through the Pemberton meadows, we blazed up the steep and loose forest service road to where the sunshine and contrasty woods showcased some stunning scenery. The sun was shining, the weather was sweet.

We arrived in Bralorne, a small frontier type town that was once a busy mining area during the Fraser River Gold Rush. Nowadays the town has 60 full-time residents and a burgeoning network of singletrack trails. After setting up shop at the well appointed Bralorne Adventure Lodge, we loaded up the trucks for an afternoon of riding classics like "Pete's Trail”,"Alfagetti" and “Michelin Man”. Party trains were full of laughs and smiles.

Seb was STOKED!

The gold rush, on film.

The 2022 lineup: (Left to right) Juan Francisco Garza, Cookie Losee, Andrew Norton, John Inglis, Wesley Hylton, Holden Sheen, Mike Caron, Wesley Bruney Steffan King, Oriel Morrison, Seb Wild, Braedyn and Peter Colapinto.

(Left to right) Andrew Norton, Wesley Bruney, and Seb Wild leading the party trains! Dusty laps were on!

(Left to right) Holden Sheen and Cookie Losee getting some air time in Sunshine Mountain.

After a perfect warm-up, we fueled up with pasta (to ride fasta of course!) on the second day of the trip. A 48 KM full day ride in the South Chilcotins Provincial Park.

Day 2 started with a massive breakfast and coffee before the big day. We loaded up the trucks to head to the Chilcotins. The weather was in our favor once again, without a cloud in sight, we left a truck where our ride would end and started pedaling up to Taylor Cabin. Making bird sounds and telling stories, the energy of the mountains had everyone smiling.

Staff bikes were shining: (Left to right) Wesley Hylton's Kona Process 153, Johnny's Norco Sight, and Seb Wild's Chromag Darco.

Wheelies, smiles, stats, and snacks.

After a quick lunch stop, we continued our ride climbing up to the top of Windy Pass, where we took some time to enjoy the views before bombing down a big chunk of delicious backcountry singletrack.

Behind an epic descent, we continued the journey through Gun Creek, where exhaustion started. The crew kept the legs spinning and the stoke high.

Go Johny!

After coming out of the trail, the last stretch of fire road before the truck felt like a Tour de France stage. Everyone sprinted towards the cold beers. Seb Wild took the yellow jerseyhome, followed by Wesley Bruney and Juan Francisco Garza. High fives, hugs, and cold beers under the sunset were the only way to end an 8-hour day out in the saddle.

After admiring the sunset, we drove back to the Adventure Lodge to refuel and hydrate after a big day.

The third day was the icing on the cake, everyone was exhausted after the previous day, but we had to wrap up the trip with some shuttles before heading back to reality.

Massive thanks to Peter Colapinto and John Inglis for putting this trip together. Working for a rider-owned business has been a real treat. Support your local bike shop!

Jah Bless!

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